Summary: There are minor variations in the GI tracts of men and women. Certain GI issues, like IBS and celiac disease, are more common in women.
Despite the fact that digestive concerns affect both males and females, some gut disorders are more widespread among women. This might be due to the variation in the structures of the GI tract between males and females. Hormonal imbalances that occur in women’s bodies as a result of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can also render GI problems, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), more severe in patients who are women.
If you or a family member have been affected by worrisome GI concerns, we urge you to seek digestive health care in Jackson, MS. Our physician-led network of GI specialists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center diagnoses and addresses common digestive issues in women, helping individuals alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life.
What are the differences between women's and men's digestive tracts?
While the function of the gastrointestinal system in men and women is relatively identical, they have a handful of significant variations that necessitate a slight adjustment in how gastrointestinal conditions are treated. Starting from the top portion of the GI system, a woman’s lower esophageal sphincter (the bundle of muscles that prevents food from regurgitation back up the esophagus) shuts more tightly than a male's. Women generate less stomach acid than men. Additionally, their stomachs empty out much slower. A woman's large intestine is nearly ten centimeters longer than a man's and in a woman's body, the digestive organs share space with the reproductive organs. As a whole, a female's GI processes take more time to complete than a man's.
Which digestive conditions are more common among women?
There are specific digestive concerns that impact women more commonly than men. Among the most common digestive issues among women involve:
- IBS: Women are two times as likely to have this disease, which impacts the small bowel and colon, compared to men. Additionally, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can be linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle, increasing in severity toward the start of the period.
- Constipation: A common gastrointestinal issue, constipation happens when stool becomes hard or dry and difficult to excrete. A woman is three times more likely to endure constipation than a man.
- Gallstones: Gallstones are comprised of hardened cholesterol that forms into crystalline material in the gallbladder. Women are two times as likely to experience gallstones than men.
- Gastroparesis: Gastroparesis arises when the stomach fails to empty fast enough. This might create digestive issues, like bloating, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. It is more common in women.
- Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disease where ingesting gluten results in damage to the small intestines. It is more often found in women than in men.
Should you or a family member suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, please know that help is within reach through GI Associates & Endoscopy Center. Request an appointment with one of our GI doctors in Jackson, MS today to receive care for your GI health needs.
How should a woman maintain good GI health?
Keeping healthy habits can help maintain and support good gastrointestinal health, whether you are a woman or a man. A number of factors that can help keep your GI health in good shape are:
- Maintaining an ideal weight
- Seeing a GI doctor for digestive issues
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Reducing stress
- Eating more fiber-rich foods
- Drinking adequate amounts of water daily
- Eating lighter meals more frequently
Need help with digestive problems in Jackson, MS?
In the event you notice any symptoms associated with your digestive system, then connect with the board-certified gastroenterologists at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center to have your condition assessed and treated. As a physician-led group of gastroenterologists, we treat GI disorders in Jackson, MS patients. Our team is here to help you ease your symptoms and experience a better quality of life.